Deli Meats And Cheeses Linked To Deadly Listeria Outbreak Across At Least Six States

A deadly Listeria outbreak linked to deli meat and cheeses has spread across six states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday, November 9. Two people in Illinois are the latest victims in an outbreak that has sickened 16 people across New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey and California. Most people sickened were hospitalized, but one illness resulted in the loss of a pregnancy, and another resulted in death, according to the CDC. 

Deli Meat and Cheese in Case

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This outbreak of Listeria is linked with deli meats, like cold cuts, lunch meats, hot dogs, and pâtés sold at the deli, as well as cheeses from the deli case. Investigators can’t be more specific yet, because it is difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak as, according to the CDC, Listeria spreads very easily between meats and cheeses. To make matters worse, it then lingers both in the foods in the deli case and on the equipment, because it thrives in cold temperatures like a refrigerator. Investigators currently believe it was one contaminated item that introduced the current outbreak and they are working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated to hopefully stop the spread before it gets any worse. 

It is recommended that people who are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system, toss out any deli meat or cheese. Do not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter, unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F a.k.a. steaming hot. The CDC also recommends cleaning your refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched deli meat or cheese from the deli. If you do feel ill with a headache, stiff neck, confusion, or fever and muscle aches, call your healthcare provider. While it hasn’t been widely reported in the South yet, it never hurts to be cautious.  

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